Humanity is best characterized by its tumultuousness and diversity, and human cultures run the gamut from savage but honorable tribes to decadent, back-stabbing noble families in the most cosmopolitan cities. Humans possess exceptional drive and a great capacity to endure and expand, and as such have overtaken Elves as the dominant race of Nirvalin, if not the world.
Human society comprises a multitude of governments, attitudes, and lifestyles. Though the oldest human cultures trace their histories thousands of years into the past, when compared to the societies of other races like Elves and Dwarves, human society seems to be in a state of constant flux as empires fragment and new kingdoms subsume the old. In general, humans are known for their flexibility, ingenuity, and ambition.
Hardy barbarian folk of the tundra, the Brans are a proud and ancient people. They are tall, fair-haired and pale skinned humans from the Brandonbad region. They are enthusiastic warriors who, above all else, value the quest for honor and glory. Brans also place a special emphasis on the family, as the only thing more shameful than cowardice in battle is the neglect of ones family. Bran battle tactics are often little else than a wild charge at the enemies, half clothed but covered in war paint, as they shout vicious battle cries.
Tales tell that the Brans, also called Bran’s folk, were the first humans to reside in Nirvalin, come from across the Boundless Ocean in over 1000 longships. They were lead by Bran, a legendary warrior who was half-giant and won countless battles. Despite being the first to Nirvalin, they would be surpassed technologically by the other races of men who followed in their footsteps. The proud Brans would be considered by the other humans as nothing more than barbarians, but a Bran’s indomitable will is his greatest quality, so no amount of insult will put him down.
Bran civilization is pragmatic, and every individual has a place and purpose; there is no room for idleness in the harsh environment of the northern wilds. Every man is the king of his own household, though communities have their own civil and spiritual leaders. Bran religious tradition is a mixture of shamanism and ancestor worship, with attention given to the spirits of deceased family members. However, the arcane magics are not something Brans value, and are generally suspicious of it and those who practice wizardry.
Fleet of feet and wit, the Castidan people are native to the southern regions of Nirvalin, concentrated around the Castella area of Romeris. Castidans can be differentiated from the average Nirvalin human by his tanned skin and dark hair, as opposed to the more commonly seen pale skin and fair or brown hair. Furthermore, Castidan’s skin is not as dark as that of Haldener’s skin. Castidans have slightly sharper faces than other men as well. Not so long ago, Castidan’s were the dominant men of Nirvalin’s southern coasts, but that was before northern men came and settled it.
Castidans have an appreciation for art and commerce, and possess a strong nautical tradition that have them travel far and wide. Castidans are partial to vibrant colors for their garb and homesteads, and they enjoy spiced foods. Because they lived side by side with Elves for centuries, they have their own magical tradition, their magicians being famed for their illusions and enchantments. Traditional Castidan religious beliefs are not dissimilar to those of Merfolk and other denizens of the deep, on account of old Castidan society’s heavy reliance on valuable sea resources.
Formidable in both debate and stature, Haldeners are well known throughout Nirvalin as shrewd negotiators and daring mercenaries. Not exactly Nirvalin natives, the dark skinned Haldeners hail from the southern continent of Halden, residing along its stony coasts in large and bustling trade ports. Indeed the Haldeners are a sea fairing people, and their trade ships are a common sight across the Southern Sea. Just as common a sight are Haldener privateers, who pray upon rival or foreign trade ships, and find asylum in Halden’s ports rather than prosecution more often than not.
Both the Haldeners and Castidans are seafarers, but Haldeners are arguably the better masters of navigation. Haldener culture and religious tradition have an emphasis on astronomy, which has earned them an advanced understanding on the positioning of the stars. Their attention to cosmic movements has also promoted a mystic tradition centered around augury and abjuration. However, magic is not something Haldeners in general are fond of, preferring to take advantage of their natural strength and charisma.